The World is Going Hybrid
According to a recent Gartner survey, about half of data center managers believe they’ll be using hybrid clouds—a mix of private and public clouds—by 2015. That’s an impressive number given how new private clouds still are across enterprises. What, then, are important considerations for implementing a hybrid cloud?
Most people frame hybrid clouds as a mix of getting capacity from a public cloud provider and from your own internal resources. This is an important factor, to be sure. But, once you have acquired that capacity, how are you going to provision it? How are you going to manage it? How will you run your applications on it? How will you store your data on it? These are operational and architectural questions, and it’s quite likely that you will have different answers, depending on whether that capacity comes from a public cloud or from your own private datacenters. This is because of the 1st Tenet of Hybrid Clouds: hybrid clouds are as much about managing heterogenous technologies as they are about where you acquire capacity.
The World is Already Hybrid
Let’s go back to those sample questions I asked earlier as well as some other important ones for managing hybrid: once you have compute capacity:
- Where will it run?
- How are you going to provision it?
- How will you run your applications on it?
- How will you store and access your data on it?
- How will you ensure compliance on it?
- How will you manage it?
Not only is it quite likely that you will have different answers for these questions depending on whether you get resources from a public cloud provider or from your own IT resources, it’s also quite likely that you already have different answers for these questions for various silos within your own datacenters already.
Consider: how would you answer these questions:
- For physical machines?
- For virtual machines?
- For your Java application environments?
- For your PHP application environments?
- For your development environments?
- For your production environments?
- For engineering resources?
- For your public web site resources?
You have basically the same operational and architectural challenges of a hybrid cloud already in today’s enterprises. Adding a public cloud provider to the mix just adds one more layer to the thick stack of heterogenous technologies already weighing down IT departments. Yes, public clouds offer many benefits, but they also introduce even more management complexity.
Hybrid Today, Hybrid Tomorrow
This leads to an important corollary to the 2nd Tenet of Hybrid Clouds: Even if you don’t plan to acquire public cloud resources yet, solving the complexities of managing and operating a hybrid cloud will pay huge dividends even across just your own internal IT. If you can arrive at a point where you have consistent answers for how you deal with heterogenous technology, then you will gain tremendous operational agility and efficiency. And, you will set yourself up nicely for when you do want to leverage public cloud resources.
If, then, getting to operational consistency is the key to success both in today’s and tomorrow’s hybrid, heterogenous environments, how can you do that? Well, the answer to that is the 2nd Tenet of Hybrid Clouds. Stay tuned…